Safeway vs. Shelter: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

So, you're in the market for a new auto insurance policy. You may have even narrowed down your search to Safeway and Shelter. But which of these two companies is the best one for you? Read on to find which company has the best premiums and biggest discounts.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Safeway offers slightly cheaper rates than Shelter
  • Safeway offers less expensive average prices for couples purchasing car insurance together
  • Shelter offers more affordable rates for policyholders who have a clean driving record, free of accidents, tickets, or DUIs

Safeway vs. Shelter: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're thinking about switching your auto insurance. With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering hefty discounts, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You've maybe even narrowed your search down to Safeway or Shelter for your next policy, but between the two, which carrier has more affordable prices for insurance?

Safeway Shelter

Looking at nationwide averages, Safeway is about $14 per month less expensive than Shelter.

That being said, that doesn't necessarily mean Safeway will be the cheaper option for each driver. Car insurance companies vary their premiums depending on things like how clean your driving record is, how old you are, how good your credit score is, where you live, and a ton of other factors, so prices will differ quite a bit from person to person.

Luckily, we've broken down average rates from both Safeway and Shelter by many different rate factors, so read on to find out which carrier is the best for you.

Safeway or Shelter: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Safeway Shelter

Safeway and Shelter only compete against each other in one states, with Safeway offering more affordable premiums to the average driver in all of them. Mississippi has the most noticable difference, where Safeway prices are over 60% less expensive than insurance premiums at Shelter.

There's a lot more that goes into your auto insurance cost than just your home state. Keep reading to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Safeway Shelter
18-year-old drivers$455$444
25-year-old drivers$179$197

Young drivers -- especially teens -- generally pay a lot for insurance compared to older drivers. That's normally because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to get into accidents since they have less experience on the roads.

But still, even with seemingly sky-high rates, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. As you can see above, teens who use Shelter save more than $10 a month compared to those who use Safeway.

Even so, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower prices by the time drivers turn 25. Shelter offers the steepest decrease, with 25-year-olds paying less than half what 18-year-old drivers are charged. That being said, Safeway still has the most affordable rates at $179 a month.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Safeway Shelter
65+-year-old drivers$136$141

Once you approach retirement age, you'll typically enjoy the lowest car insurance premiums out there. You've been on the road for years, and all that experience pays off when it comes to your monthly rates for auto insurance.

But who has the best prices for retired drivers between Safeway and Shelter? Safeway gets the slight edge here, with average premiums coming in at around $136 per month compared to Shelter's $141. However, the difference is only about 5%, so other factors will likely come into play when determining which company has the cheapest rates for you.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Safeway Shelter

Did you know that insurance prices are usually more expensive for single policyholders than they are for married drivers? This usually boils down to married policyholders having multiple cars on their policy -- something several auto insurance companies will reward with discounts.

When it comes to relationship status, the two carriers are comparable for single drivers, with premiums only differing around $9 per month, on average. But for married couples, the advantage is clear - Safeway offers the most affordable average prices.

Safeway vs. Shelter: Average Rates by Gender

Safeway Shelter

Men are statistically more likely than women to get pulled over for speeding or get into an accident, which means they'll typically end up paying more for car insurance than women.

With Safeway, women usually pay nearly 10% a month less than men, and over 10% less with Shelter when compared to their male counterparts.

Looking at the data for each carrier specifically, Safeway offers the cheapest average rates for both men and women. On average, women save about $11 per month and men save about $18 with Safeway compared to the average Shelter policyholder.

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Safeway or Shelter: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Safeway Shelter
State Minimum*$130$129
Full Coverage**$258$288

*State minimum value indicates liability-only policies at each state's minimum bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD) limits

**Full coverage indicates state minimum BI/PD limits with collision and comprehensive coverages added to policy.

It's no secret that insurance can be pretty complicated. There are so many different limits and coverages that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy.

But most policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (that covers bodily injury and property damage for other drivers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which generally refers to having comprehensive and collision coverages in addition to what you get with liability coverage).

In this case, Shelter offers the lowest average premiums for state minimum liability insurance, while Safeway has the edge for full coverage policies with similar coverage limits. Drivers looking for basic state minimum coverage can save around $1 with Shelter Insurance, while full coverage comes out to be around $30 more affordable with Safeway Insurance.

Is Safeway or Shelter Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no big secret that drivers who are accident-free get better deals on their car insurance. But even if you have a spotty record, you can still find plenty of ways to save some cash on your monthly bill.

You'll probably end up paying more with tickets and at-fault collisions on your record, but which of these two companies offers the cheapest prices to drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Safeway Shelter
Clean Record$163$142
1 Speeding Ticket$170$181

Safeway policyholders can expect their premiums to go up an average of $7 a month if they get a ticket, while Shelter normally raises rates about $39 per month, on average.

If you have a clean record, Shelter tends to offer the best premiums at around 13% cheaper, while Safeway has the edge for drivers with a speeding ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Safeway Shelter
Clean Record$163$142
1 At-Fault Accident$223$234

After an accident, drivers who have their auto insurance through Safeway can expect to see about an $60 -- or around 27% -- increase in their car insurance prices. Drivers who use Shelter for their insurance will see a monthly bill about $92 (or 39%) more expensive after reporting an accident to their auto insurance company.

Overall, Safeway offers the most affordable rates for drivers with an at-fault accident on their records, with monthly premiums averaging $223 compared to Shelter Insurance's $234.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Safeway Shelter
Clean Record$163$142
1 DUI$220$277

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly car insurance bill -- usually a lot more than a collision or ticket. On average, Shelter will climb your rates around 49% after a DUI, while Safeway's average prices increase by over 25%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable rates, Safeway tends to be the much less expensive option with average prices of $220 monthly compared to $277 from Shelter.

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How does Credit Score Impact Safeway and Shelter Rates?

Did you know that many insurance carriers take into account your credit score when calculating premiums? This isn't always the case (for example, Michigan and Hawaii are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it might come into play for lots of policyholders.

The reasoning auto insurance companies use is that drivers with good credit will be more likely to pay their bills on time; so they'll reward them with cheaper prices, while those with poor credit will typically be forced to pay more.

Looking at Safeway and Shelter specifically, which company has the lowest rates for policyholders at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Safeway Shelter
Excellent Credit Score$194$164
Good Credit Score$194$187

If you have solid credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Shelter. Drivers with "excellent" credit can save more than 15% compared to Safeway, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- about $7 or 4% cheaper each month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Safeway Shelter
Fair Credit Score$194$221
Poor Credit Score$194$261

Safeway typically offers lower premiums than Shelter when it comes to drivers with less-than-perfect credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around $27 a month less with Safeway compared to Shelter, and those with "poor" scores normally save an average of about $67 per month.

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Is Safeway or Shelter Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Safeway Shelter
6,000 Annual Miles$194$203
12,000 Annual Miles$194$214

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a big impact on your monthly prices? Generally, the more miles you drive, the more you can expect to pay for coverage.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Safeway charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly premiums for Shelter, with policyholders who drive the least paying around $11 less every month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually. Still, Safeway is the more affordable option for drivers in both categories.

Safeway vs. Shelter: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you park your vehicle can play a sizable role in how much you pay for insurance. Typically, those who live in urban areas will pay more than policyholders in rural areas due to the number of cars that are on the roads in those areas.

Safeway Shelter
Urban Areas$234$235
Suburban Areas$201$187
Rural Areas$146$203

Looking at these carriers side-by-side, Safeway tends to offer the cheapest option for drivers in rural and urban areas, while Shelter wins in suburban areas.

If you live in a rural area, you can expect to save about $57 with Safeway compared to Shelter. Drivers in suburban ZIP codes pay around $14 less with Shelter compared to Safeway. In urban areas, Safeway Insurance's average rates are about $1 less than Shelter Insurance.

Safeway vs. Shelter Discounts

You want to save as much money as possible, right? The best way to do that is by utilizing as many car insurance discounts as you can.

But where do you even start? With what seems like a million different discounts out there, it may be challenging to find all the ones you can take advantage of.

In the section below, we've compared all of the different discounts offered by Safeway and Shelter so that you can see which carrier can save you the most money each month.

Safeway Shelter
Advance Quote Discount 
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Driver Training Discount 
Full Coverage Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Homeowner Discount 
Military Discount 
Multi-Car Discount
Multi-Policy Discount 
Paid In Full Discount
Passive Restraint Discount 
Punitive Damage Exclusion Discount 
Renewal Discount 
Vin Etching Discount 

Looking at the total number of discounts, Safeway comes out ahead with 11 discounts to Shelter's 10.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like discounts for being a defensive driver, discounts for insuring multiple cars with the same company, and paid in full discounts. Safeway also offers agency transfer discounts, full coverage discounts, homeowner discounts, and more that Shelter does not.

On the flip side, Shelter has a couple unique discounts of its own -- advance quote discounts, anti-theft discounts, discounts for getting driver training, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Safeway or Shelter Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average prices for many of the variables auto insurance companies look at, and we've shown you all the discounts each carrier offers. But, when it comes down to it, is Safeway or Shelter the best one for you and your specific driver profile?

Safeway might be best for you if....

  • You have a DUI charge on your record.
  • You want to save extra money with discounts.
  • You are purchasing your insurance with a spouse.

Shelter might be best for you if...

  • You don't have any speeding tickets, DUIs, or at-fault accidents on your record.
  • You want basic auto insurance coverage at the state minimum limits.
  • You're buying car insurance for a teen and looking for a wallet-friendly option.

We hope this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare Safeway and Shelter and that you can now make a more informed decision when it comes to your auto insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your insurance policy is to compare quotes from several carriers, not just Safeway and Shelter. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in your area, all for free.

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Safeway vs. Shelter FAQs

Is Safeway or Shelter cheaper?

Looking just at the national average rates, Safeway is the cheaper of the two carriers, offering average rates of $194 per month compared to $208 for Shelter. That being said, Safeway won't necessarily be the most affordable company for each driver, since there are several different factors that come into play when it comes to your auto insurance bill.

Who is better, Safeway or Shelter?

Unfortunately, the real answer is "it depends.". No one carrier is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all depends on the makeup of your unique car insurance profile. For example, Safeway offers less expensive premiums for drivers with a recent DUI, while Shelter is more affordable for drivers with excellent credit.

Why do Safeway and Shelter offer me different rates?

Insurance companies take a look at a lot of different variables when determining the rates they charge drivers. Things such as your driving record, age, where you live, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Safeway and Shelter use different formulas, so each one will most likely offer different prices. The only real way to see which company is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a variety of different carriers.

How do I know if Safeway or Shelter is right for me?

The only way to find the car insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from a handful of companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best insurance carriers in your area. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the best price. And who knows, the best company for you might not be Safeway or Shelter at all!


All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a 2016 Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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